Jackson has made his mark on Warriors

972247.jpg

Jackson has made his mark on Warriors

OAKLAND, Calif. When Doc Rivers was named the Orlando Magic's head coach after having had no NBA coaching experience, it certainly raised questions as to whether he could get the job done.

The Magic were competitive for the bulk of his time there, and Rivers' success in Boston has been well-documented.

Mark Jackson is his own man, obviously.

But like Rivers, he too became an NBA head coach having taken the less-than-conventional path of not having any NBA coaching experience.

And while it's still early, Jackson has the Golden State Warriors playing some of the best basketball in years.

The C's know this all too well after Golden State whipped them 101-83 on Saturday.

And while Jackson has had his share of coaching influences, he fully embraces the reality that Rivers' success was in some way important for individuals such as himself to get an opportunity to be an NBA head coach.

Doc (Rivers) is a guy that I talked to, and have spoken to, during the process of becoming a head coach," Jackson said. "Not only that, just sitting with him during his playoff and championship runs at dinner and spending time with him. I value him. I think hes a great coach, a heck of a basketball mind and has been very helpful during the process. Hes a guy that I have a tremendous amount of respect for and Im thankful.

Jackson added, "Hes a guy that would pick up the phone and say Mark Jackson is going to be an OK coach I value that."

And the fact that they both assumed their positions as NBA head coaches having not spent any time on the bench other than their playing days, is not lost on Jackson.

"I value the fact the he did it by not being an assistant coach and understood the question marks," Jackson said. "He was successful; hes a championship coach and is in the discussion for the best in the business. I do not take for granted how that paved the way and made it easier for somebody to give me an opportunity.

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady can be his own worst critic. That's why last week, after beating the Texans in the Divisional Round to move on to the AFC title game, he wasn't thrilled. He didn't play up to his standards. The offense struggled at points. He wore his frustration like a five o'clock shadow.

Winning is not everything for Brady, most weeks. He has an idea of how he should perform, how the Patriots offense should perform, and when those ideals aren't met, he's generally displeased. 

PATRIOTS 36, STEELERS 17

On Sunday, after beating up on the Steelers, 36-17, that wasn't the case. It was a sound performance, but it wasn't perfect. It was explosive at times, but it shined a light on areas where the Patriots will need to continue to improve. 

Despite its imperfections, Sunday was no time to brood about plays missed or lessons learned the hard way. Screw it, Brady seemed to say. They were going to the Super Bowl. It was OK to smile.  

"It was a good day," Brady said. "I mean, we're going to the Super Bowl, man. [Expletive], you've got to be happy now."

The Super Bowl berth is the ninth in franchise history -- more than any other club -- and the seventh with Brady and coach Bill Belichick. By throwing for 384 yards and three touchdowns on 32-of-42 passing, Brady tied Joe Montana for the most postseason games (nine) with three touchdown passes. 

Brady will also claim the record for Super Bowls played when he and the Patriots head to Houston. And if they win, he'll tie Charles Haley for most Super Bowl wins for a player (five).

Those are lofty numbers made even more significant, perhaps, due to the fact that Brady wasn't allowed to start this season as his team's quarterback. He was asked during Sunday's postgame press conference if it was personally satisfying to get back to the Super Bowl despite having to serve a four-game suspension due to Deflategate.

"Well, that's because of the hard work of a lot of people from my coaches to my teammates to our families that support us," he said. "It takes a lot of people, a lot of hard work and a lot of effort over the course of many months. This didn't start at 6:40 tonight.

"This thing started in April. It really started before that in free-agency when we were picking up guys like [Chris] Hogan and drafting guys like Malcolm Mitchell and guy who were in rehab like [LeGarrette Blount] and [Dion Lewis] and [James Develin] and Nate [Solder]. It's a lot of hard work. There are only two teams left standing, and I'm happy we're one of them."

They're going to the Super Bowl. He has to be happy now.